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History, August 25, 2010 Print  E-mail

The city of Qingdao was just a fishing village and the area in which Qingdao is located today was named Jiao'ao when it was administered by the Qing Dynasty. In 1891, the Qing government decided to make the area primary defense base against naval attacks.

In 1897, the murder of two German missionaries, known as "Juye Jiao Case", provoked an immediate military reply, which led to the area being cede to Germany by Jiao’ao Concession Treaty for a 99-year lease. Upon gaining control of the area, the Germans planned the construction of a city. So in Qingdao you may find a significant amount of European architecture. Sometimes it is known as the Oriental Switzerland.

Commercial interests established the Germania Brewery in 1903, which later became the world-famous Tsingtao Brewery. German influence extended to other areas of Shandong Province, including the establishment of diverse commercial enterprises.

Identified by the German authorities as a strategically important port, Qingdao was administered by the Imperial Department of the Navy, who based their Far East Squadron there, allowing the ships to conduct operations throughout the Pacific.

After a minor British naval attack on the German colony in 1914 following the outbreak of World War I, Japan occupied the city and the surrounding province during the Siege of Tsingtao after Japan's declaration of war on Germany in accordance with the Anglo-Japanese Alliance. The failure of the Allied powers to restore Chinese rule to Shandong after the war triggered the May Fourth Movement.

In December, 1922, the city reverted to Chinese rule, under control of the Republic of China. The city became a direct-controlled municipality of the ROC Government in 1929. Japan re-occupied Qingdao in 1938 with its plans of territorial expansion onto China's coast.

In 1949, Qingdao was liberated by the Chinese Communist Party-led Red Army and the city and province have been under PRC control since that time.

Nowadays it is one of the important opening-up coastal cities in China and is a well-known historical and cultural city with trade, light industry, tourism and oceanography research as its main industries. In 2008, Qingdao hosted the sailing events of the 2008 Summer Olympics.

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